The rivalry between Webster University and St. Louis University (SLU) was front and center during the eleventh annual SPICE Cup, but two Cuban national chess players stole the show.
Cuban grandmaster (GM) Lazaro Bruton Batista bested fellow Cuban GM Yunieski Quesada and SLU GM Darius Swiercz to take home the first place trophy. All three players were tied with four wins and five draws, so a tiebreaker was used to determine the champion.
Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE) coach Paul Truong said when three or more players are tied for first, the SPICE Cup goes strictly by tiebreakers.
“The tiebreaks are based on the guidelines of the International Chess Federation,” Truong said. “For example, what is the average strength of your opponent, how well did they do? We have nothing to do with it.”
Swiercz said the two Cuban grandmasters are well known for their skills at chess. Both of his games against the two Cubans ended in draws.
“The level of competition was high and pretty even,” Swiercz said. “There were lots of grandmasters, and everyone was fighting for the best result. I am happy that I was undefeated in such a strong field.”